PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (20-12) at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (18-15)

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (20-12) at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (18-15)

The struggling 76ers look to change their fortunes in Memphis when they take on a Grizzlies team playing its last game before the All-Star break.


2012-02-21

Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET

Line: Philadelphia -1, Total: 180½


The struggling 76ers look to change their fortunes in Memphis when they take on a Grizzlies team playing its last game before the All-Star break.

After feasting on an easy schedule for the good part of the year, the 76ers are reeling, going 2-5 (1-6 ATS) in their past seven games. They have lost four straight (SU and ATS) to West teams, scoring just 83.3 PPG on 40% FG in these four defeats. The Grizzlies have had their way with Eastern Conference teams (6-2 SU and ATS) and are 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings with Philly. The pick here is MEMPHIS to win on its home floor.

Philly’s defense leads the NBA with 87.3 PPG allowed, and it has held five of its past six opponents to 41% FG or less. The 76ers also take care of the basketball better than anyone, with a league-best 10.0 turnovers per game. The reason the team is struggling is because of an inefficient offense averaging just 88.1 PPG on 41% FG in the past seven contests. Six players score at least 10 PPG for Philadelphia, led by reserve PG Lou Williams (15.9 PPG). He has played better away from home this year, averaging 17.6 PPG on 46% FG in 13 road contests. PG Jrue Holiday (13.6 PPG, 4.6 APG) had a team-high 20 points in Sunday’s 92-91 loss in Minnesota. Andre Iguodala is fourth on the team in scoring (12.4 PPG), but he is the most valuable 76ers player with 6.5 RPG, 5.3 APG and 1.8 SPG. C Spencer Hawes (10.5 PPG) remains out with a strained Achilles’ and won’t return until after the All-Star break. His absence has certainly contributed to his team’s recent slide.

Memphis is 12-5 SU at home this year, allowing just 92.8 PPG and forcing a league-high 17.0 turnovers per game on its home floor. The Grizzlies swept the season series from Philly last year, as Mike Conley (13.3 PPG, 6.7 APG) scored all 22 of his points in the second half of last February’s meeting in Memphis to propel his team to a 102-91 win. Conley has been playing great basketball as of late with 16.8 PPG on 50% FG, 40% threes and 96% FT (23-of-24) in his past six games. With Zach Randolph still out with a knee injury, PF Marreese Speights has really stepped up his game, averaging a double-double (12.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG) in his past eight contests. Leading scorer Rudy Gay (19.0 PPG) suffered a season-ending shoulder injury the last time he faced the 76ers, but he has been remarkably consistent this month. Gay has scored between 18 and 25 points in each of his past 13 games, making 41% of his threes during this stretch.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (20-12) at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (18-15) News

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